Swan Lake - Svetlana Zakharova & Vladimir Shishov - Apr 6th, 2014
Wiener Staatsballet: Swan Lake, April 6th, 2014
A special occasion: Svetlana Zakharova & Vladimir Shishov
There is always a certain feeling of expectation at a première… But yesterday’s “Swan Lake” was not a “première” in the real sense of the word. It was “just” Svetlana Zakharova’s first show in Vienna, ever, and a great chance to many people to watch her for the first time on stage, including me!
Having already written about another performance of SL, I will not repeat all that I have already put here… just read my other review (from March 19th).
Oh, well, only perhaps to remind you of the incredible synchronicity, timing and chemistry between Greig Matthews and Dumitru Taran. Both did not dance in the pas de cinq yesterday.
But I must say that Alexandru Tcacenco did a great job.
A wonderful stage presence and such a "clean" technique. A dancer we should look more carefully at.
I could not wait for the first act to finish even though I was caught by Vladimir Shishov’s incredible sensibility at the last variation – we are, of course, talking about Nureyev’s version of which I have written on last March 18th. This slow variation is a very difficult piece of magic: but perhaps due to Rudi’s egocentrism, focusing the ballet around the male dancer, I had never enjoyed it. At yesterday’s performance Mr. Shishov gave us a new “reading” of this role. He was full of despair, questions, hopes, emotion… He was not “showing off” technically like Nureyev tried to do. He was simply completely inside his role. Simply being Siegfried! And with such precise technique: a marvelous, special moment, indeed!
The second act… Well, it started (at last) and I could not wait to see Miss Zakharova’s entrance as the white Swan.
She came in and just after three or four seconds of her presence on stage, just after her first grand-jéte, I felt, yes, here was a Swan…
Nobody should make the mistake of comparing one dancer to another. So many Odettes and Odilles left such an impression inside me: Makarova, Park, Martinelli just to mention a few. But each one was a single Odette, a single Odille. Some were stronger as the white swan, some were the black one personified. Some were both. Few were none...
Miss Zakharova was definitely Odette. The use of her arms are pure poetry. They are so fascinating that you forget to look at those wonderful legs, gorgeous feet and glorious neck. I felt simply connected to that torso that was simply framed by those expressive arms, “broken” wrists, fingers: bird-like ones...
The third act: Flavia Soares gave us a beautiful, impressive performance in the Spanish Dance. And such Cambrés!!!!!!! Simply amazing.
Her “Muchacha” (very becoming, in red, with a lovely hairdo) was not the cliché Spanish “chica”, so often misunderstood.
She was just a Latin girl, filled with hot blood, pepper, temperament and charm. Great!
Zakharova’s Odille was a bit too friendly like. I missed somehow the evilness of this black, dangerous bird. Amazing was the use (again) of her arms while doing the Piqués en tournant: Placing them a bit backwards than her torso (a challenging thing because of the sense of balance) she created, to the front audience, the most pure impression of “wings”. What an effect! While all this was happening, I was amazed by Mr. Shishov’s performance!
The chemistry between Miss Zakharova and him could not be missed by anyone – and it is 100 percent right to affirm that it is so important to have both principals in the same “state of mind” while on stage. Makarova would never have been “that” swan without Anthony Dowell and Ivan Nagy.
Mr. Shishov and Miss Zakharova would not have been Siegfried and Odette/Odille last evening without each other.
Many, many curtain calls, incredible applause from an excited "ballet audience" (so many people from all over Europe and abroad simply flew to Vienna to watch that performance last night) and lots of talk with a friend sitting next to me: Davide Dato – “Vienna’s darling” with a broken foot - made this evening an unforgettable one.
I am so glad to have been able to watch last evening's performance.
ALL PICTURES: copyright Thomas Schulz (Thank you for your kind permission, perception and incredible sensibility!)